Friday, 30 June 2017

Little Shop Of Horrors - An Edgewater College Musical

I remember back in February where Mr. Holmes (Music teacher) advertised the musical (Little Shop of Horrors) and announced that auditions had begun. I didn't audition because I was pretty shy and worried for some reason, and well, performing on stage? Oh, boy, that would be pressuring.

But, then, during May, while I was sitting next to Connor and Sam (two classmates who are really great in Music and two classmates I've mentioned in separate posts last year), Mr. Holmes asked the three of us about whether or not we were interested in being the puppeteers for the musical. We would dress in black and go into these plant puppets that were in different sizes. The first puppet was a hand puppet, the second would involve putting one's upper torso inside and controlling the mouth with their arms, and the third one would involved someone standing and pushing a lever to open the mouth to talk. We'd have to memorise lines, but we wouldn't say them out loud, we'd just open the mouth to match the movements of the words that someone else would be reading.

Now, remember how in May I was experimenting with this Abraham-like character? You know, that character that's more confident than I am? Well, since I was in that persona, I came back the next day with a confirmed 'yes' and so it began...throughout the month of June I was going to rehearsals and memorising lines for my part, and trying to get the hold of my assigned puppet - it was the third and biggest plant where I have to stand and push a lever.

Period One on Friday, the 2nd of June marked the real beginning of getting the gist of the puppets. This then escalated to coming to rehearsals during the Monday off school (Queen's Birthday) and me attending a couple of rehearsals, encountering a problem with my puppet, having it become redundant and unable to manipulate, resulting in me not doing much during the rehearsals without it, then having it FIXED by Mr. Vester (principal of the school, who's helped so much with the production, building the set and fixing a few things) and manipulating it once again.

The whole cast got involved in showing the whole school (not at the same time, of course, it was divided into year groups at different times), and I got to miss out on two periods. And I also got to miss out on two days of schoolwork which was relaxing and amazing. Yeah, sure, I ended up with lots of work to do but it was worth it! The show was going to be GREAT!

And it WAS great! Over four nights I came to school, went back home to spend some time getting ready, then came back to school in the evening to prepare for the show. Even waiting for the show is fun, there's food that's brought in and some of the backstage guys play card games while waiting - now I've got to admit I'm not good at card games (I don't even know how to play Go Fish!), but I won this one game that involved deceit and lying (I only found that out quite late in the game), and thankfully I didn't lie! Wow!

Now, if I could only talk about the actual show and how it looked. I've seen parts of it from the first half during rehearsals. The set looked beautiful, looking like a shop with wallpaper and everything, flowers around the shop sparingly, it couldn't look more dismal for a flowershop in a torn-down town like Skid Row. For the second half, I can't really say much except that there was more flowers than the first half, and that the plant that was once small then big had grown even bigger. And I was manipulating that plant. So I couldn't see what was happening, but I could hear it. The flowershop's successful now, the main character (Seymour) kisses his co-worker (Audrey) since her boyfriend's out of the picture (a crazy dentist who gets eaten at the end of the first half), then his boss and guardian (Mrs. Mushnik) accuses him of killing the dentist.

She then gets eaten. By me the plant (it's called Audrey II, by the way, named after Audrey). Seymour's then given offers and contracts by companies who are interested in Audrey II. He then plans to kill the plant after he finds out Audrey would've loved him with or without the plant. But then Audrey gets eaten. Seymour's then approached by a man who wants to plant Audrey IIs and sell them across America. Seymour discover's Audrey II's real intention: world conquest. Seymour tries to kill the plant but then he...gets...eaten...

And that was the end! At the end of the final show, Mr Holme's came up onto the stage and talked a bit about the show and the hard work it was put into it, and gave special thanks to other people who were involved in the show, including Mrs Haddock (Head of Department of Music) and the band, some other teachers and the props guys who were involved in preparing the set and the props, the choreographer who helped with the dance numbers in the show, especially with the final number that included the main cast, and most importantly, Mr Vester, who helped a lot with the making of the set and lighting. The cast and crew received a haka afterwards, and I feel like I was standing at the wrong spot, really - I wasn't really in the cast, but the crew, and I was standing at the front of the stage. But besides that, it was such a great ending to the whole production.

And it was great to hug almost everyone, knowing that we all got through it. I had a bit of guilt for not hugging some people because I either forgot or I was busy eating and chatting during the thank you function. It was really sweet, the whole thing, and the food, too.

This whole experience has been such an amazing one, and one that I won't forget in a long time. Along with the experience I've worked with the most wonderful and joyful people, and the bond we all shared was immensely strong. Even as I type this, one week on from the final show, I still have that sense of longing to go through all those times again, even if it was a bit challenging at times. Now that it's finished, it's back to the normal school routine, back to busy work and busy...homework, I guess. It's all a bit less musical, if you ask me - you know, since it was a musical and I had to memorise lyrics to songs for my puppet. And now that it's all finished...*sighs* I can only Before I go any further to the end, the actors were amazing and their singing accompanied by the band's adaption of the original songs (especially the drummer, Aaron) were stunning on all the nights and really added more "umph" to the whole thing.

But all in all, I had such a great time, words could never describe how much I'll miss it.

Some of the backstage crew alongside some of the cast.

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